Not only is it true that the treatment itself may take only, at most, two sittings of up to a few hours each, to complete – compared to 4 longer sessions with most traditional periodontal procedures, but the recovery time is also much quicker.
Most people are able to return to work within 24 hours of undergoing laser gum surgery. It could take a week for 100% recovery, but you are able to function normally again within only a day. Compare that to the 2 to 4 weeks of immediate recover following non-laser gum surgeries, with months before total recovery occurs, and it’s easy to see it’s a huge difference!
Since no scalpel is used in laser surgery, and no dental sutures (stitches) are needed afterwards, there is minimal bleeding and swelling and the healing process is much faster.
Instead of peeling back the gums 2 to 15 mm, depending on how bad the infection is, to access deep periodontal pockets, the laser is able to reach and clean out these areas without causing significant gum line recession. And almost no healthy tissue is lost in the process of removing the unhealthy gum tissue. This means your gums are left more fully intact and have less to recover from post-op.
Also, there is usually no need for bone or soft tissue grafts in connection with laser periodontal treatment, but these are often needed with other methods – and that greatly extends the total healing time.
Finally, modern LANAP lasers thoroughly eradicate harmful bacteria colonies so that there is much less risk of re-infection after gum surgery. And less bacteria also means less inflammation and fewer pathogens to counteract and slow down recovery.
Less Pain, Longer Lasting Results
But not only is laser treatment quicker, but it is also less painful and more effective overall. The lasers actually stimulate the regeneration of gum tissue and help it to reattach itself to tooth roots properly. This benefit continues to pay dividends long after initial surgery is complete. Improved regeneration and attachment, combined with much lower bacterial levels, means that results are typically superior and longer-lasting.
The lasers eliminate infected gum tissue without causing any significant pain. In fact, most patients don’t even need an anesthetic, though one can be provided of course at the patient’s request. Remember there is no cutting or suturing involved – and the laser’s action doesn’t “feel like” cutting (technically, it “vaporizes” infected tissues).
Often, laser treatment prevents a quick re-occurrence of gum disease and may also prevent tooth loss in some cases. That also equals avoidance of pain and saving of time.
As to “pain in the pocket book”, laser treatment may cost more upfront, but since it requires fewer dental visits and is covered by most dental insurance, it often costs little to no more than other methods for major periodontal treatment.
If you have any further questions about how laser periodontal treatment works and if it’s right for you, feel free to contact Dr. Raymond Kenzik today!